Stubbington woman launches prevention tool after her 'kind' brother, 21, dies by suicide
A STUBBINGTON woman has created a browser extension to help prevent self-harm and suicide a year her brother died by suicide.
Launching today to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, R;pple is a browser plug-in that prompts an automatic pop-up when users search for information on self-harm or taking their own life.
The new tool is the brainchild of Alice Hendy, 29, whose ‘kind’ and ‘thoughtful’ younger brother Josh died last year at 21.
Josh, a paint sprayer who also worked for the MoD as a security guard in Portsmouth dockyard, had been active online looking for material about suicide before his death.
Alice has set up R;pple to ensure more help and support is given to individuals searching for this sort of content.
She said: ‘It's called R;pple because, on average, 135 people are impacted every time somebody takes their own life.
‘The ripple-effect is extensive, as my family and Josh’s wider circle know only too well.
‘I want to help ensure individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and searching for self-harmful content online are offered hope and options for support when they need it.’
Josh, who loved his music, used to DJ regularly as a youngster and Alice has fond memories of attending concerts and gigs with him.
She describes her brother as ‘the most kind, loving and genuine person you could meet’, and said: ‘He was so thoughtful and would go out of his way to help others.’
R;pple provides support and resources for people suffering poor mental health and feeling hopeless.
A pop-up comprises the message ‘you deserve to feel hope’, and signposts to a range of free support resources such as helplines, text services and webchats that are available 24/7 from mental health charities.
The new tool is free to download and available now as an extension for Google Chrome, with Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera and Safari to follow soon.
Alice added: ‘Josh – If only you knew how much you were loved.
‘Our world will never be the same again and I miss you every minute of every day.
‘I hope you’re looking down on me and smiling with what I’ve tried to do in your memory with R;pple and I hope I can make you proud.’
R;pple has already been taken up by high-profile organisations including Universities UK and Network Rail as a means of providing staff and students with mental health signposting.
Alice also plans to roll out the technology as a parental control option, and hopes it will be taken up by UK education providers.
She also plans to maximise the number of businesses as well as educational sector organisations who pro-actively install the R;pple tool on their computers.
Find out more about R;pple at ripplesuicideprevention.com
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact Portsmouth and East Hampshire Samaritans on 0330 094 5717.